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Old 01-18-2007, 01:56 PM   #1
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I'm New and Have a Menu Challenge (merged)

Heya,
I just found the site and wanted to say hi and thanks for having me as part of the community. I just started my culinary arts training this week and so far itís going excellent. My background has been in Retail Business Management, but Iím completely committed to getting into the culinary industry. My short term goal is to get my Red Seal certification. After that I want to open my own restaurant. Since I have no culinary background I have started a new job as a line cook. That decision is based on the fact I honestly feel that as a Chef or Owner my decisions must be based on experience in the jobs I will eventually be asking my employees to do. I donít look at this as being menial work either, because itís actually very challenging. I tip my hat to all of you who work in this industry because you have been responsible for countless happy experiences of mine in the past, and I never realized just how hard you all work.
Iíve also been given a challenge, not by the school but by my roommate. His mother will be visiting from another province in mid February. She is a Chef already, and my roommate is quite experienced in the industry. We have a tradition when occasions like this come up. We plan a menu for the meal we will be serving and divide the kitchen work between the two of us. He usually takes care of the entrees and I take care of the Sides, Salad, and Desserts. I do desserts because Iíve always like baking and have done so since I was a kid. Heís planned the core of two potential ďMain DishesĒ One is an Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb, and the other is a stuffed Fillet Mignon. I can figure out the sides for the Fillet but I donít have a lot of experience with Lamb. Iím trying to impress him and his mother but ultimately want to balance the dish. Iím wondering if anyone out there has some original ideas for sides to go with Lamb. So far I have developed 2 ideas myself:

1)Honey Glazed Squash with Asparagus
2)Jasmine Rice slightly flavored with mint leaves, with a Green Tea steeped with mint as well.

If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions for things to go with this kind of thing I would really appreciate hearing from you.

Jim

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Old 01-18-2007, 02:01 PM   #2
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Welcome Jim!

Are Rosemary Mashed Potatos too mundane? I think they are very nice with lamb.
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:13 PM   #3
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What kind of sauce are you using for the lamb?
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:30 PM   #4
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Welcome Jim, so glad that you are going to be with us.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:25 PM   #5
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Welcome to DC and congratulations on pursuing your "dream!"

For color and flavor, how sweet potatoes en papillote with fresh rosemary and butter?
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:04 PM   #6
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Sauce for the Lamb

Personally, I've always loved potatoes, Sweet or otherwise. The Rosemary is a good idea as well. It feels very good to be able to chase my dream.

The sauce for the lamb will be a Port Demi Reduction with Dijon Mustard. Thats what he planned out so far :)
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:45 PM   #7
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Here's another vote for the Rosemary Potatoes! Yum!

And, Jim, welcome the DC family!
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManedWolf
Personally, I've always loved potatoes, Sweet or otherwise. The Rosemary is a good idea as well. It feels very good to be able to chase my dream.

The sauce for the lamb will be a Port Demi Reduction with Dijon Mustard. Thats what he planned out so far :)
Forget the Asian sides with the Jasmine rice and Green tea. The lamb's flavors are French so go with that. You want the sides to match flavor-wise, and to also contrast and compliment color-wise.

Looking at where you're from, you should be able to readily find black truffle butter. If you can find Yukon Gold Potatoes, do a whipped potato or potato mousselline incorporating the truffle butter. Truffles, port, and lamb go very well together.

I like the squash and aspargus idea though. Try to incorporate some fresh herbs like sage with the vegetables, and also some pancetta or bacon. The bacon fat will add a savory layer of flavor to the vegetables that will contrast with the sweetness of the honey and port demi.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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Also, what are you stuffing the filets with?
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll check around and see what I cna come up with. The fillets are being stuffed with Portabello Mushrooms, Asparagus and Roasted Garlic. The sauce for them would be Portabelo Mushroom, Red Wine Jus
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